It is not the job – it is your attitude

  • Published
  • By Col. Douglas Curry
  • 71st Medical Group commander
"By getting out of the Air Force. That truly seems to be the only way to save myself from what I truly believe is my own personal hell."

That's what they call an attention grabber. Unfortunately, I didn't make it up or throw it in for affect. Hard to believe, but this was actually a comment from a Vance Airman noted on the recently released results of the 2010 Air Force Climate Survey.

While I gleaned a greater understanding of the culture and perceptions of our Airmen, this is the one statement that stuck in my mind.

I have contemplated why this statement bothers me. Simple - we as leaders have failed. We have failed to motivate and inspire. We have failed to convey the importance of the job as it relates to the "Big Air Force" scheme. We have failed to impart the Air Force core values - Integrity, Service, Excellence.

Individuals enter the Air Force for a litany of reasons. Some hear a calling summoned from within, a feeling of patriotism or a sense of duty. Others continue a long family lineage of military service.

Still others join in an effort to find themselves, establish a career or pursue educational goals. Regardless of the reason, we are unified by one overarching theme - an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States.

Let us not forget, we raised our right hand voluntarily.

Once on active duty, were you placed in the job you requested, the job the recruiter "promised"? Or were you forced to take a job in a different career field? Is it what you thought it would be?

Do you feel that your skills and talents are fully utilized? Are you unhappy or unsatisfied? If you are, I offer three simple words - "Get over it!" I realize this may come across as cold and overly harsh, but let me explain.

I have experienced many different jobs throughout my 20-year career and have come to one realization - it is never about the job or the location, it is always about the people.

Each of us has a role to play in ensuring the Air Force mission is accomplished in a manner second to none. Whether a member of security forces, comptroller, maintainer, receptionist, technician, facility manager, physician or pilot - each plays a unique and equally important role.

We rely on each other to get the job done. As a group, we are only as good as our weakest link. Connect the dots and get fired up - your job is crucial to the success of the United States Air Force and the defense of our country. Functioning as a cohesive team, we are unstoppable!

Each morning when you awake, do you commit to giving 110 percent? If you answer no, are you truly living by the Air Force core values?

Integrity First - starts with honesty to oneself. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see an individual willing to give their best regardless of what you have been asked to do? You need to.

Service Before Self - do you put the needs of the Air Force before your personal gratification? You need to.

Excellence in All That We Do - no matter how menial you may deem a task, do you give it your best? You need to.

If you answered yes to all three questions, you epitomize the virtues of an Airman, Wingman and Warrior.

Satisfaction with your job and satisfaction with the Air Force in general comes from within. Knowing that you are part of a bigger calling and that your contributions are valued fuels the fire.

I can attest that each and every member of Team Vance is crucial to our mission of developing professional Airmen, delivering world-class joint pilots and deploying combat ready warriors.

We have the honor of serving with a cadre of true professionals, all united by a common goal. You are part of this elite group and critical to its success. If you are not satisfied with your job, look inward and not outward.

Do you understand your role and how your job impacts others? Do you always give 110 percent? Do you live the Air Force core values?

Bottom line - if you don't look forward to coming to work each and every day, ask yourself why. I challenge you to make a difference. In the end, if you find you are unhappy, don't change your job... change your attitude.